Case study 5 - Newmarket Road

Experiencing homelessness can be one of the most devastating experiences for families. We understand that homelessness can be particularly disruptive for families with children and there is a worry about being distant from friends and family, and children’s schools. We therefore think it is important to keep those finding themselves homeless as close to their support networks as possible in order to avoid further disruption to their lives.

Once a family presents to the council as homeless, they are placed in temporary accommodation. St Edmundsbury Borough Council bought a property on Newmarket Road in 2015 and converted the previous bed and breakfast facility into a seven bedroom property that can accommodate up to six families who have become homeless and are in need of temporary accommodation.

The benefits of the accommodation are twofold; first, it lessens our reliance on expensive bed and breakfast accommodation and second, it means we are less likely to have to place families out of area. The accommodation also gives residents the ability to provide for their families by having access to cooking and washing facilities as well as support provided by Anglia Care Trust.

Since its opening in June 2016, we have accommodated 30 families which has saved on average £350 per week, an estimated £10,000 in savings overall.

This has contributed to our annual savings in our spending on bed and breakfast accommodation for those who are homeless. We spent £86,677 on bed and breakfast accommodation in 2016/17 compared to £98,200 in 2015/16 and £208,600 in 2014/15.

We hope to continue to work with our partners to identify further units of temporary accommodation to ensure homeless individuals have safe and suitable accommodation to meet their needs and to help us make additional savings.